Yahoo! has recently launched (into Beta) a new program called Mindset. Mindset is a great initiative by Yahoo! because it is going to benefit both the search engine user and the search engine marketer.
Mindset provides a slider bar which alters the mix of non-commercial (informational sites) to commercial sites on a particular search topic, based on the intent of the user. For example, if you are searching for “LCD TV” the results will provide sites that are both selling LCD TV and sites which will provide information on how they work, and everything in between.
The searcher benefits by getting the results they want quicker (more relevant) and will be more likely to use Yahoo! because it has serviced their needs.
The search engine marketer will benefit because users who are interested in commercial results will now be visiting their site and not seeking information. This means that clicks in Paid Inclusion programs are not wasted on people seeking information, whilst not tying up unnecessary bandwidth on visitors who have no interest in purchasing anything.
I believe that this program could be expanded, so that when the searcher decides to remove the commercial sites, the Pay for Placement Ads are no longer shown. This will help increase conversion for search engine marketers but could see search engine revenue decrease.
To counter act this, I believe that if a full commercial search is entered, Search Engine Marketers would be willing to spend more on click, as the conversion rate should be much higher.
Hopefully Mindset will move into the main stream in the very near future.